Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

My Passive Aggressive husband has announced he is leaving ... but won't go. How do I get him to leave?

(34 Posts)
Twimpo Fri 19-Oct-12 10:45:10

Any ideas? After almost 20 years of marriage (and 3 children), my PA husband announced two weeks ago that he can't live with me anymore and is leaving me. Initially I was devastated as I have put up with some pretty unspeakable behaviour over the years and couldn't believe that he had the cheek to throw me away. However, now I am over the shock I can't wait to see the back of him. My 2 youngest children who are still at primary school are going to be devastated as they absolutely worship him. But my eldest who is 18, has seen what I have been put through and also can't wait until he moves out. My sons words were ... it's going to be great, we will have a happy house mum and all that anger will go! Anyway, in my husband's usual manipulative way, he is just sat there and isn't even looking for anything. It's like another way to torture me. How do I get him to leave? I am showing him flats that I have seen on the internet, but he just keeps saying he will go when he is ready and that he might still be here at Christmas!!! I can't stand it, of all the things he has done to me, this is driving me the most crazy.

BellaTata Fri 19-Oct-12 10:49:41

Pack his bag for him and change the locks. I'm happy that you are getting rid of this guy, it must be nice that your eldest DS is supporting you. Sorry I can't be of more use.

Shakey1500 Fri 19-Oct-12 10:52:59

What Bella said. Or (if you haven't already) completely blank him, don't cook, clean, iron, sort anything for him. Do lots of wonderful things with the DC's and show him you are not bothered in the slightest.

NicknameTaken Fri 19-Oct-12 10:53:52

Ring around local solicitors' firms to ask if they do a free 30 min session. Find out what your legal options are. Knowledge is power.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 19-Oct-12 11:00:06

First priority, see a solicitor and get the ball rolling with regard to a divorce. This opens up various possibilities when it comes to getting him out of the house. Second, without being unreasonably vindictive, make his life as uncomfortable and unpleasant as possible. Sleeping arrangements, food, laundry, leisure time and any other normal privileges of being part of family life all reflect that he's leaving... and are withdrawn. Treat him for what he is i.e. a temporary lodger who fends for himself. If 'unspeakable behaviour' results, that's the point to pack the bags and bolt the doors firmly behind him.

Justgoplease Fri 19-Oct-12 11:01:21

Oh, Twimpo, I feel your frustration as I'm in the same position, same length of marriage, same number of children.

Difference is, mine gave me a taste of freedom, when he decamped to OW for 10 weeks, before walking back in and calmly announcing, it's his house too so he's staying.

I have been following Shakey's advice, but it's just horrible, not who I am at all. Can't leave kids with him, can't afford t I rent house big enough for me and kids. Just feel sooooo frustrated and angry

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 19-Oct-12 11:03:39

Have you seen a solicitor Justgoplease?

susiedaisy Fri 19-Oct-12 11:04:10

I agree see a solicitor it will give you knowledge and a sense of control over the situation, otherwise its just a battle of wills to see who can outlast the other before someone moves out.

Twimpo Fri 19-Oct-12 11:09:52

Mine doesn't even have another woman ... he has just had enough of me! His first wife left him for another man, but seeing as he has slept on the sofa our entire marriage, I'm guessing her reason for leaving was understandable. He also walked out on his son, who was around the same age as my youngest children currently are. I have begged him to leave for years, but it always ended the same way with him insisting that he would commit suicide. So i've been blackmailed into staying for years. And now he decides he's had enough and we get cast aside ... but only when it suits him. The longer he stays the more anger I feel towards him. I did phone my lawyer, but he seemed more interested in getting the house in my name and figuring out how much to charge me than any practical help. I need to find another solicitor. I am however, trying to find out if I can get a mortgage first before I broach any of the house stuff with him, because I know if he thinks he has power over me somewhere he will use it against me.

Twimpo Fri 19-Oct-12 11:11:39

I think he is trying to get me to throw him out so he can play the victim with the youngest 2 children. He is a very manipulative man!

Kewcumber Fri 19-Oct-12 11:16:07

I'd do what Cognito says - even to the point of locking all "your" food in a cupboard and making him shop, cook, wash his own clothes etc. Whats the money position - do you have your own bank account - if so get one and have your money paid into it so you have control over your own money, once you have arranged for all the money you can to be paid into your account (inc child benefit) and assuming that is enough to live on, then tell the bank that you are separating. Cancel any joint credit cards.

And get a better lawyer.

I suspect he is enjoying annoying the hell out of you so I'd be very breezy - and forget finding him a flat, he's just going to enjoy staying put for now so why don't you aim to enjoy making that as un-enjoyable for him as possible.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 19-Oct-12 11:18:44

I would throw him out and, very quickly afterwards, tell your children the age-appropriate truth. Call his victim-playing bluff and trust your children's ability to see through flannel. IME Children know when people are not getting on well together because their own emotional lives are far more binary than adults. Primary school-age children are either 'friends' or 'not friends'... there's no shades of grey, I find. They will have heard the arguments, sensed the hostility and seen the body-language in your unhappy house. If you explain that you and Dad are no longer friends so he has decided (important you make it something of his choosing) he'd like to live somewhere else then I think they will understand quite well.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 19-Oct-12 11:21:36

"him insisting that he would commit suicide"

Emotional blackmail.... having sadly known a few people that have gone on to commit suicide the one thing they had in common was that they didn't broadcast their intentions. They did not want to be stopped. The kind that treats suicide as a bargaining chip in the way you describe is very unlikely to carry out the threat.

OnTheBottomWithAWomansWeekly Fri 19-Oct-12 11:28:42

Cog that's a very good point - I also have sadly known 3 people who took their own lives and in fact they were very careful that no-one got an idea of their plans.

The one person I know who regularly threatened to do so (to his girlfriend at the time) is, 15 years later, still hale and hearty.

MadameOvary Fri 19-Oct-12 11:39:03

Its just talk, IMO to get you to do exactly what you are doing, running around after him. So, as other posters have suggested withdraw all that. In my own experience of dealing with PA arseholes people, the trick is not to show any malice whatsoever. It does take a bit of energy and its galling to have to stoop to the same levels, but PA types dont respond to logic, reason and decency, they are fixed on their own selfish needs.

Twimpo Fri 19-Oct-12 11:39:58

You are all spot on. The finances are the tricky bit. I have always had really good jobs that generated most of our income. I have, almost without fail, earned twice his salary. When our youngest 2 started school I started working part-time so my salary dropped massively. So we are fairly financially dependent on him. I think that is something else he hasn't liked. However, having snooped in his bag last week, I have discovered that his personal spending money for the month is more than I earn in a month ... and I have to use my money to pay all the food for the house, clothes for myself and kids, haircuts, birthday presents etc, etc. So all summer, when my earnings were cut (as I work within the school timetable) ... and was having to go without my dinner as there wasn't enough food. He had hundreds of pounds going spare and never once offered me so much as a fiver!

HeinousHecate Fri 19-Oct-12 11:43:21

Would he go if you packed his bags and put him out? I know legally you can't put someone out of their own home, but your post suggests he would go if you were the 'bad guy' and I'm thinking - so what if you're the bad guy? Let him play the victim because at least he's gone! And that's what matters, right?

Failing that, just ignore him. Don't do anything for him - no cooking, cleaning, or anything, don't let him help himself to your food. Lock it up if you have to! and start legal proceedings.

MadameOvary Fri 19-Oct-12 11:44:07

Fucking hell OP. That's not a husband, thats a cocklodger angry

Twimpo Fri 19-Oct-12 11:45:35

MadameOvary ... you are right. I lost the plot with him on Wednesday in front of th ekids. Basically he is emptying food into the sink instead of the bin, and generally leaving the house in a right mess. All done to goad me. I swear it will be a miracle if I don't have an ulcer by the end of it all as I know, shouting etc is exactly what he wants. But I was yelling at him to get out .. and the little-ones faces was awful. But ... that is exactly what he wanted me to do and he won ... again!!! I should know better, but sometimes it all gets too much!

Twimpo Fri 19-Oct-12 11:47:34

Don't know what a cocklodger is .. but as he has slept on the couch the entire 20 years ... I've seen a lot of lodging, but I ain't seen a lot of ????, lol

Kewcumber Fri 19-Oct-12 11:49:39

Do you have enough money via your salary and child benefits to pay for the food and necessities and some spending money for you and the kids? If so open an account yourself and pay your salary and CB in for you to control. LEave all the bills and mortgage in the joint account as that can be sorted out later. It may not be entirely fair but its a start at least and will bring home to him that you aren't waiting for him anymore but starting to make changes anyway.

Would his salary less mortgage and bills be less than he's spending at the moment?

Talk to estate agent about how much house is worth - look at cost of renting/buying smaller house.

Talk to solicitor about starting divorce proceeding straight away - sleeping on teh sofa for 20 years is surely "unreasonable behaviour " grounds. Don;t let him think he has teh choice to do it on his timetable.

Re suicide - just say "well that would be very sad for the children if that were your choice" if its ever raised again. And repeat as often as necessary.

Kewcumber Fri 19-Oct-12 11:52:14

CAn you turn teh lounge into a bedsit for him with cooking ring and washing up bowl and put a lock on teh kitchen door? ONly a thought and probably not practical.

newmum001 Fri 19-Oct-12 11:52:57

If i were you id completely leave him out of everything. Dont cook for him or do his washing. Don't allow him to sleep in the bedroom or if he sleeps there then you sleep elsewhere. Plan things with your kids and don't include him but set up "visitation" as you would if he had moved out eg friday night and saturday daytime are his times to have the younger kids.

My dad did this when we were younger. My mum started "living" with my grandparents. What she did was put us to bed at night. Make sure we were asleep then go and sleep at my grandparents house. She was always back at the crack of dawn and got us up for school and picked us up. It was just when we were asleep she was gone. It was pretty extreme but she didnt know what else to do. It lasted 3 nights and he left. She cut all contact with him while he was there too. He was an evil man and she just couldn't take anymore.

I hope you find a solution but thank god for your eldest son. He sounds amazing!!!

susiedaisy Fri 19-Oct-12 11:53:12

My exH tried to bully me out of the house with his dreadful behaviour towards the end of our marriage, and when I did leave the house for two weeks under the solicitors advice so that he could be served the non molestation and occupation injunction papers ( whole other story) the first thing he did was head to B&Q to get new locks to keep me out! He thought in his mind that he'd 'won' and had driven the dc and me out, he had a shock when he was served the papers and it was infact him that had to leave!

Anyway my point being that it was the family solicitor that gave me the help and direction that I needed to sort the situation out, I was near to a breakdown when I first arrived in her office as he had ground me down so much! HTH

olgaga Fri 19-Oct-12 11:54:00

You might find this useful background reading:

Relationship Breakdown and Divorce – Advice and Links

It is useful if you can get to grips with the language of family law and procedure, and get an understanding of your rights, BEFORE you see a solicitor. If you are well prepared you will save time and money.


If there are children involved, their welfare, needs and interests are paramount. Parents have responsibilities, not rights, in this regard. Shared residence means both parties having an equal interest in the upbringing of the children. It does not mean equal (50/50) parenting time - children are not possessions to be “fairly” divided between separating parents.

A divorce will not be granted where children are involved unless there are agreed arrangements for finance, and care of the children (“Statement of Arrangements for Children”). It is obviously quicker and cheaper if this can be agreed but if there is no agreement, the Court will make an Order - “Residence and Contact” regarding children, “Financial Order” or “Ancillary Relief” in the case of Finance. Information and links to these can be found in the Directgov link below. Residence and Contact Orders are likely to be renamed Child Arrangements Orders in future.

Always see a specialist family lawyer!

Get word of mouth recommendations for family lawyers in your area if possible. If you have children at school, ask mums you are friendly with if they know of anyone who can make a recommendation in your area. These days there are few people who don’t know of anyone who has been through a divorce or separation – there’s a lot of knowledge and support out there!

Many family lawyers will offer the first half hour consultation free. Make use of this. Don’t just stick with the first lawyer you find – shop around and find someone you feel comfortable with. You may be in for a long haul, so it helps if you can find a solicitor you’re happy with.

If you can’t find any local recommendations, always see a solicitor who specialises in Family Law.

You can also find out about Legal Aid and get advice on the Community Legal Advice Helpline on 08345 345 4 345

Or search in your area for Community Legal Advisors:

Co-operative Legal Services offer DIY/Self-Help Divorce packages, as well as a Managed Divorce service. Their fee structure is more transparent and they have a telephone advice line as well as offering really good advice on their website:

You can read advice and search by area for a family lawyer here:

You will also read good advice and find a family lawyer here:

Some family law solicitors publish online feedback from clients – Google solicitors to see if you can find any recommendations or feedback.


You will be encouraged to attend mediation. This can help by encouraging discussion about arrangements for children and finance in a structured way in a neutral setting. However, it only works if both parties are willing to reach agreement.

If there has been violence or emotional abuse, discuss this with your solicitor first. Always get legal advice, or at the very least make sure you are aware of your legal rights, before you begin mediation. This is important because while a Mediator should have knowledge of family law, and will often explain family law, they are not there to give tailored legal advice to either party - so it’s important to have that first.

Married or Living Together?

This is a key question, because if you are married, generally speaking you have greater protection when a relationship breaks down.

Legal Issues around marriage/cohabitation and relationship breakdown are explained here:

DirectGov advice on divorce, separation and relationship breakdown:

Legal Rights and issues around contact are further explained here:

I found these guides from law firms quite informative and easy to read – there are others of course:


Before you see a family law solicitor, get hold of every single piece of financial information you have access to, and take copies or make notes. Wage slips, P60s, tax returns, employment contracts, pensions and other statements – savings, current account and mortgages, deeds, rental leases, utility bills, council tax bills, credit statements. Are there joint assets such as a home, pensions, savings, shares?

If you have no access to financial information, or you are aware that assets are being hidden from you, then obviously you will not be able to reach agreement on finances. If there are children, as you cannot divorce without adequate arrangements being agreed on finance and children, you will have to apply for a financial order anyway. If there are no children, and you are unable to agree on finances, you will also have to apply for a financial order (follow the links below). This seeks financial information from both parties going back 12 months. So it is in your interests to act quickly once you have made the decision to divorce.

If you are married, the main considerations of the Family Courts where parties are unable to agree a settlement are (in no particular order of priority):

1.The welfare of any minor children from the marriage.
2.The value of jointly and individually owned property and other assets and the financial needs, obligation and responsibilities of each party.
3.Any debts or liabilities of the parties.
4.Pension arrangements for each of the parties, including future pension values and any value to each of the parties of any benefit they may lose as a result of the divorce.
5.The earnings and earning potential of each of the parties.
6.Standard of living enjoyed during the marriage.
7.The age of the parties and duration of the marriage.
8.Any physical or mental disability of either of the parties.
9.Contributions that each party may have made to the marriage, either financially or by looking after the house and/or caring for the family.

CSA maintenance calculator:

Handy tax credits calculator:

Handy 5 Minute benefit check, tax and housing benefit calculators:

CAB Benefits Check:

Parenting issues:

Other Support for Women – Children, Housing, Domestic Violence and - Helpline 0808 2000 247 - Helpline 0844 8044 999 - Helpline 0808 802 0925
(Note that there is usually an appropriate link on these websites for England, Wales and Scotland where the law, advice and contact information may differ.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: